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Your State’s Favorite TV Mom

Celebrate Mother’s Day with TV’s most beloved moms.

Mother’s Day is upon us—have you told mom how much she means to you? How about your favorite TV mom?

TV show moms are as American as baseball, apple pie, and, well, television itself. They’re with us every day, sometimes even more so than our actual mothers (cue the warm fuzzies).

As we did with last year’s Top TV Dads in Each State, HowtoWatch collected state-by-state data to determine the most treasured TV moms in the US circa 2019. We laughed, cried, and were genuinely surprised over some of our findings—dragons count as kids now, apparently.

Our methodology

We began with lists from Ranker, Rotten Tomatoes, and Parents to identify the most beloved TV moms of all time. Then, we added several mothers from today’s most popular TV and streaming shows to the list.

From there, we ran each name through Google Trends to identify which moms were searched most frequently in each state. You could say it was a real mother of a process.

We found that America loves these five types of TV moms:

Modern moms

The USA’s favorite TV mother is also a recent one. Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. Meredith Grey has been a mom only since 2012, but she and her kids have already lived a lifetime of all-caps DRAMA.

On the more comedic side, Modern Family’s Gloria Delgado-Pritchett and Claire Dunphy are among the definitive moms of 2000s TV, as are Tami Taylor (Friday Night Lights), Rainbow Johnson (Black-ish), and Lorelei Gilmore (Gilmore Girls).

Miriam “Midge” Maisel, otherwise known as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, is a 1950s mom who was introduced to us in 2017, so she’s both modern and classic.

  • Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, West Virginia: Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy)
  • Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia: Tami Taylor (Friday Night Lights)
  • New Hampshire, Vermont: Miriam “Midge” Maisel (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
  • Arizona, Washington: Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (Modern Family)
  • Missouri: Claire Dunphy (Modern Family)
  • Maine: Lorelei Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
  • North Carolina: Rainbow Johnson (Black-ish)

Classic moms

Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show), Jill Taylor (Home Improvement), Kitty Forman (That ‘70s Show), Peggy Bundy (Married With Children), and Debra Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond) owned TV motherhood in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and they remain east-coast favorites.

Lucy Ricardo (I Love Lucy), Edith Bunker (All in the Family), Victoria Barkley (The Big Valley), Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch), and Miss Ellie Ewing (Dallas) ruled the ‘60s and ‘70s. Seeing Lily Munster (The Munsters) here but not Morticia Addams (The Addams Family) stings our goth heart, but we’ll carry on.

Also, let us not forget that the Beav’s mom, June Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver), is the 1950s o.g. of all TV mothers.

  • New Mexico, Rhode Island: Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch)
  • Kansas, Nevada: Peggy Bundy (Married With Children)
  • District of Columbia: Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
  • Massachusetts: Jill Taylor (Home Improvement)
  • New York: Debra Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)
  • California: Lucy Ricardo (I Love Lucy)
  • Delaware: Edith Bunker (All in the Family)
  • Hawaii: Lily Munster (The Munsters)
  • Texas: Eleanor “Miss Ellie” Ewing (Dallas)
  • Florida: Victoria Barkley (The Big Valley)
  • Minnesota: June Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver)

Cartoon moms

The Simpsons’ blue-haired matriarch, Marge Simpson, is an obvious animated pick, followed by Family Guy’s Lois Griffin, American Dad’s Francine Smith, King of the Hill’s Peggy Hill, and The Jetsons’ Jane Jetson. Rugrats’ Charlotte Pickles, where art thou?

The odd cartoon-mom out here is Betty Rubble of The Flintstones. Why no love for Wilma Flintstone? Her name is in the show title, Indiana.

  • Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah: Marge Simpson (The Simpsons)
  • Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina: Peggy Hill (King of the Hill)
  • Oklahoma: Lois Griffin (Family Guy)
  • Tennessee: Francine Smith (American Dad)
  • Connecticut: Jane Jetson (The Jetsons)
  • Indiana: Betty Rubble (The Flintstones)

Troubled moms

She may be more “misunderstood” than “bad,” but Oregon’s fave mom choice of Nancy Botwin (Weeds) is akin to naming Breaking Bad’s Walter White father of the year (which New Mexico did last year, BTW).

As for Idaho and Iowa’s pick of Joyce Byers (Stranger Things), she may be devoted, but that is one stressful household.

Likewise, pro wrestler mom Debbie Egan (GLOW) and scandalous spouse Lynette Scavo (Desperate Housewives) may have their (many) problems, but they’re still fiercely protective parents.

Meanwhile, New Jersey couldn’t choose between sketchy-but-devoted mothers Carmella Soprano (The Sopranos) and Sophia Petrillo (Golden Girls). Frankly, neither can we.

  • Idaho, Iowa: Joyce Byers (Stranger Things)
  • Oregon: Nancy Botwin (Weeds)
  • New Jersey: Carmella Soprano (The Sopranos) and Sophia Petrillo (Golden Girls)
  • Michigan: Debbie Egan (GLOW)
  • Wisconsin: Lynette Scavo (Desperate Housewives)

Westeros moms

Think HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones isn’t a family show at heart? You know nothing, Jon Snow. Four states identify with Westeros mothers Cersei Lannister, Olenna Tyrell, Ellaria Sand, and Daenerys Targaryen.

Yes, Daenerys is technically a surrogate “mom” to dragons, but are you going to argue with her and her fire-breathing brood? Didn’t think so.

  • Alaska: Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones)
  • Colorado: Olenna Tyrell (Game of Thrones)
  • Montana: Ellaria Sand (Game of Thrones)
  • Wyoming: Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)

Each state’s favorite TV mom

StateMom characterTV show
AlabamaMeredith GreyGrey’s Anatomy
AlaskaCersei LannisterGame of Thrones
ArizonaGloria Delgado-PritchettModern Family
ArkansasMeredith GreyGrey’s Anatomy
CaliforniaLucy RicardoI Love Lucy
ColoradoOlenna TyrellGame of Thrones
ConnecticutJane JetsonThe Jetsons
DelawareEdith BunkerAll in the Family
District of ColumbiaClair HuxtableThe Cosby Show
FloridaVictoria BarkleyThe Big Valley
GeorgiaTami TaylorFriday Night Lights
HawaiiLily MunsterThe Munsters
IdahoJoyce ByersStranger Things
IllinoisKitty FormanThat ‘70s Show
IndianaBetty RubbleThe Flintstones
IowaJoyce ByersStranger Things
KansasPeggy BundyMarried with Children
KentuckyPeggy HillKing of the Hill
LouisianaMeredith GreyGrey’s Anatomy
MaineLorelai GilmoreGilmore Girls
MarylandPeggy HillKing of the Hill
MassachusettsJill TaylorHome Improvement
MichiganDebbie EaganGLOW
MinnesotaJune CleaverLeave It to Beaver
MississippiMarge SimpsonThe Simpsons
MissouriClaire DunphyModern Family
MontanaEllaria SandGame of Thrones
NebraskaMeredith GreyGrey’s Anatomy
NevadaPeggy BundyMarried with Children
New Jersey (tie)Carmela Soprano
Sophia Petrillo
The Sopranos
The Golden Girls
New MexicoCarol BradyThe Brady Bunch
New YorkDebra BaroneEverybody Loves Raymond
North CarolinaRainbow JohnsonBlack-ish
North DakotaMeredith GreyGrey’s Anatomy
OhioSophia PetrilloThe Golden Girls
OklahomaLois GriffinFamily Guy
OregonNancy BotwinWeeds
PennsylvaniaTami TaylorFriday Night Lights
Rhode IslandCarol BradyThe Brady Bunch
South CarolinaPeggy HillKing of the Hill
South DakotaMarge SimpsonThe Simpsons
TennesseeFrancine SmithAmerican Dad
TexasEleanor “Miss Ellie” EwingDallas
UtahMarge SimpsonThe Simpsons
VermontMiriam “Midge” MaiselThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
VirginiaTami TaylorFriday Night Lights
WashingtonGloria Delgado-PritchettModern Family
West VirginiaMeredith GreyGrey’s Anatomy
WisconsinLynette ScavoDesperate Housewives
WyomingDaenerys TargaryenGame of Thrones

Happy (TV) Mother’s Day!

From the dawn of broadcast to the platinum age of television, TV moms have always been there for you.

(Well, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a bit of an absentee mother—but she’s funny and stylish, so we’ll allow it.)

Most importantly: Don’t forget to pry yourself away from the tube and wish your real, non-TV mom a happy Mother’s Day!

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